Sinister rise of Rochdale’s axe-wielding 'Adam' gang who ‘slice faces in street & recruit 11-year-olds to flog heroin' | The Sun

SEEING a violent altercation in the street, on Rochdale’s Newbold Estate, 18-year-old tree surgeon Cameron Brooksbank tried to calm the situation.

But he was attacked with an axe – severing his hand and puncturing his lung in a near-fatal attack.

The brave teen, left with life-changing injuries and trauma, was the innocent victim of a brutal organised crime gang (OCG) with an iron grip on the town.

His case, featured in the current series of The Detectives: Taking Down an OCG on BBC2 and IPlayer, highlights a wider problem of growing gang warfare which is terrorising the residents of the Greater Manchester district.

The Adam OCG – named after the phone line used for drug dealing by the gang – rakes in millions by supplying heroin, crack and weed and are grooming kids as young as 11 as drug runners.

During The Sun's visit to the estate, we were told about bicycle-riding children peddling wraps of heroin for just £10 and the "madness" caused by the gang.



The Detectives: Taking Down an OCG: What happened in Rochdale in 2017?


Everything we know about Adam OCG gangster Skinny

Detective Sergeant Martin Soutter grew up in Rochdale and has worked for the Greater Manchester Police for 27 years and says the “level of violence” has dramatically increased in the last five years.

“You will get acid attacks, machete attacks, there's instances where people have been scalped on the street,” he says. “Almost all extreme violence in the area is linked to gangs.”

The brutality of the gang, who supply drugs through 15 phone lines in the city, has led to widespread fear, which makes it hard for Soutter’s dedicated team of seven officers to crack the OCGs as witnesses are intimidated and bribed into silence.

Despite investigating the ADAM OCG for nearly a decade, and numerous arrests of low-level drug dealers, the team have yet to see a senior gang member convicted.

Most read in The Sun


Sir Bobby Charlton’s cause of death revealed after Man Utd legend died aged 86


Maya Jama wows in leather catsuit as celebs celebrate Halloween in style


Robbie Williams in plastic surgery confession as he claims he’s got ‘manopause’


Sophie Turner moves on from Joe Jonas & snogs hunk who just dumped royal

But the axe attack, in October 2017, led to the arrest of suspect Mohammed Awais Sajid – known as Skinny – who was an ADAM kingpin and the son of the alleged crime boss Sajid Hussein.

Martin saw it as his chance to “sever the snake’s head” and bring the gang down once and for all.

The incident started as a road rage row on the troubled Newbold Estate but escalated as four or five cars turned up and gang members poured out – with Skinny wielding an axe. 

Cameron broke down in tears as he recalled: “The first hit was on my left-hand side just under my armpit. 

 “I felt something warm and wet. As I turned around I saw the axe was about here [gesturing to the side of his head] and I put my arm up.

“The axe went through the top of my wrist and then it shattered my bone. I remember absolutely every single second of that day.”

Cameron was airlifted to hospital for life-saving surgery and underwent five surgeries to maintain 60 per cent use of his arm.

As well as the physical and mental scars he suffered, he had to deal with the prospect of intimidation from the violent gang. His dad told the programme he had felt safe, thinking they didn’t know his address, until they approached one of Cameron’s colleagues.

“They told him if we went to court, there'd be serious consequences,” he says, adding they offered a £10,000 bribe. “The terror, knowing what they are capable of…”.

But Cameron refused to waver, saying: “I didn’t show any weakness on the day, I’m not going to show any weakness in January.” 

Skinny was convicted of assault and was jailed for 18 years, in 2019.

At the end of the three-parter, it was revealed that Cameron died this year – his cause of death was not disclosed.

Child trafficking

While the OCG team are keen to crack down on the violence, the gang’s phones, seized during arrests for the attack, reveal a new low – as pictures of kids as young as 11 being groomed to deal heroin crack are found.

The new evidence prompted the team to launch an investigation into child exploitation, which identified at least 40 kids who were being forced to run drugs.

One 12-year-old recruit calmly explains the difference between crack and heroin and says he knew because he “watched him bagging up.”

A 13-year-old reveals a network of underage dealers, saying he was asked to sell “weed or cocaine” and adding if he didn’t: “It’s not just them, there’s a load of people that could come after me.”

Masood Ahmed, who runs Newborn General Store, told us: "My customers just complain that very young children sell drugs. There's a lot of drugs being sold here."

He's installed special protective glass over the shop's front door to prevent robbers from smashing into it.

Mr Ahmed said: "We've had robberies but generally the violence is between the gangs."

Violence remains a problem in the area, with one middle-aged dad, who did not want to be named, telling us he witnessed a horrifying attack.

He said: Things are always bubbling under the service and the gangs mainly target each other.

"I did see a machete attack once where one man's face was almost sliced off. It was sickening."

Some locals suggest things have improved due to an increased police presence and those who spot potential gang members avoid getting in their way.

Mum-of-two Valerie Hoyle, 75, said: "We had grooming gangs here targeting young girls.

"But I've seen gangs of kids armed with machetes. You just stay out of their way."

One street cleaner told us the area was "fairly quite during the day" before adding: "But you don't want to be wandering around at night."

Cuckooing and kid dealers

While the ADAM OCG has a grip on the town, they are not the only gangs to cause terror in the area.

In 2018,  Superintendent John-Paul Ruffle said 12 major gangs operate in Rochdale, which has the second highest rate of organised crime in Greater Manchester. 

Last year nine members of the 706 – who also called themselves the Portuguese Mafia (PMG) – were jailed after terrorising two estates in the town.

The gang peddled cocaine, heroin and cannabis, using threats of violence to instill fear.

They also ‘Cuckooed’ vulnerable addicts – moving into their homes and using them as a criminal base – with one victim telling the court: "I wanted my home to be my chance to sort my life out. This opportunity was destroyed the second this group decided to take over my flat." 

Many residents had to be moved into different areas during the investigation for protection.

In June 2022, nine members of the gang were jailed for drug offences.

Gang warfare

The PMG also had a running feud with local gang the M40, also known as the Lane Boys.

On Bonfire Night, 2020, the beef exploded when M40 member Alexander John Soyoye was cornered by rival gang members and stabbed and beaten to death.

Within hours, the M40 plotted to avenge his death targeting the PMG members they believed responsible, but the plot was foiled by the arrest of member Harry Oni, with police finding messages about the plan on his phone, along with incriminating evidence about previous attacks.

In June 2022, 10 gang members were sentenced to a total of 131 years, with four convicted of conspiracy to murder.

Preston Crown Court was told that the 10 defendants – all of Manchester – were all members of a gang called the ‘M40’ or ‘40’, named after the postcode of the area in which the gang originated. The gang also called themselves ‘2×2’, ‘4s’, ‘Lane Boys’ or ‘Laners’.

In autumn 2020, the gang ‘had beef’ with one or more rival gangs called ‘PMG’, ‘RTD’ or ‘706’, who were based in Oldham and Rochdale.

The conflict came to a head on Bonfire Night 2020 when, in one of three acts of violence, ‘M40’ gang member Alexander John Soyoye was cornered in his gang’s ‘territory’ before being stabbed and beaten to death.

Read More on The Sun


Martin Lewis issues warning for those on minimum wage who could be owed £100s


Moaning neighbour reported our Crazy Frog wall to council but we had last laugh

Within days, if not hours, of the murder of Soyoye, the defendants were plotting to avenge his death by violently targeting one or more of the rival gang members whom they believed to be responsible.

The Detectives: Taking Down An OCG is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Source: Read Full Article